Archive for February, 2020

Serial update

February 7th, 2020

President Chump has struck again.  At his orders, a CIA drone killed Al-Qaeda’s military leader in Yemen some time during the past week.  Although the periodicity is very roughly consistent with previous attacks, I’m not counting this one as support for my theory that Chump may be a nascent serial killer.  (Yes, I know what I sound like.)  For one thing, it appears from the New York Times’ reporting that the timing of the assassination of Qassim al-Rimi probably was dictated by circumstances.  Although a serial killer may take advantage of opportunities as they arise, this factor makes al-Rimi’s assassination look less purely discretionary than was the strike on Suleimani.  More to the point, the United States is at war with Al-Qaeda, which adds another layer of ambiguity to the evidence.  By contrast, in the case of Suleimani, whose assassination  sent me down this rabbit hole, the U.S. is not at war with Iran, so that justification was not available.  A serial killer may take advantage of participating in military operations to achieve his gratification.  However, the victim’s status as a wartime enemy is sufficient motivation for his assassination.  Thus, it is difficult to ascribe an additional, psychopathological motive.

GOP Delenda Est

February 3rd, 2020

I was moved to write to my senator last week. Here is what I wrote.

Dear Senator Leahy,

This afternoon I heard you on Vermont Edition and I was moved to gratitude for my good fortune to live in a state with the wisdom to select such sane and decent representatives as you, Peter Welch, and your junior colleague in the Senate. What I understood from your remarks is that a substantial number of Republicans are so gutless and unprincipled that, for fear of opposition in the primaries, they are throwing over the constitution, the basic principles of fairness and of democratic government, and their own oaths of office, and acquiescing in the effective coronation of King Donald I, even though there are sufficient numbers of them so that, in the unlikely event they were to do what they privately admit they know is right, the impeachment trial would be an actual trial with witnesses and evidence instead of the laborious farce they are allowing it to be, and the outcome would be very much in doubt, instead of the shameless whitewash that everyone expects. What makes it ironic is that, in order to preserve their Senate seats, they are surrendering their congressional powers to a psychopathic would-be dictator. My respect for you is heightened because I honestly do not know how you can go to work every day and be polite to these people. I do not think I could do it. I want you to know that even as our government teeters on the brink of a fundamental change towards authoritarianism and corruption, it is heartening to know that there are people such as you fighting to preserve its aspirations to democracy and justice, and that even if the cause may be, for the time being, lost due to the fecklessness, shamelessness, fearfulness, and corruption of the Republican party, who I firmly believe collectively will burn in hell for it, the spirit of community, responsibility, and liberty lives on in Vermont and was well represented by you.

Sincerely, with gratitude and in sadness for these times,
Seth Steinzor, Esq.